ERP Implementation Myth Number 5: This is an IT project
ERP software is a technology product and IT will play an important role in supporting the chosen ERP product. IT needs to be involved in the process to make sure that the underlying technology is sound and consistent with the overall business technology strategy. As keeper of the company systems and data, IT often has a strong understanding of operations within each part of the organization and a broad understanding of how different parts of the overall organization work together. This knowledge can make IT a critical part of the selection and implementation process.
But ERP software is a business tool that will be used by end users and business managers on a daily basis. In order to insure acceptance and ownership of the new ERP system, business users need to take ownership of the selection process and accept a leading role in the implementation. A high value ERP implementation should be about more than just processing transactions—it should be about how the ERP system and its implementation support higher level business goals. For example, every ERP system can handle the procurement and receiving (transactions). But which systems can automate inbound inspection processes to minimize inventory handling and provide insight into vendor performance to help drive down inventory costs and maximize purchasing discounts (business goals)? IT is accountable for making sure the system accepts the transactions, but business leaders are held accountable for business performance. Implementing your ERP system to achieve business goals will insure that you get the most value from your investment.
- You can’t spare your best people
- They know your business best
- Plan on back filling
- Create superstars
- Everyone should be involved
- Implementation teams are not a democracy
- Small, focused teams are more successful
- You can implement in a bubble
- Publicize progress
- Celebrate early success
- Help end users transition
- Don’t go it alone
- You will document and train later
- How well have you done this in the past?
- Training is the key to continued value
- Do it while you are thinking about it and reduce the effort
- You can ignore business reality
- Be pragmatic about the business drivers of the project
- Don’t over reach or over sell
- Plan for competing priorities
- Design a project that works
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Richard Garraputa, VP Sales and Marketing, brij Image and Information